Being a pen pal in the 21st century


A pen pal is someone with whom you exchange correspondence regularly. People would take pen to paper and form lasting friendships through sending letters back and forth. Many of these relationships last for years. Throughout history, people have been pen pals. One example of individuals who became pen pals is Hugh Grant and George Clooney. The story is they were both dealing with rather public issues. One reached out to the other in a sign of support. They have corresponded ever since.      

Over the years, I heard of others becoming pen pals. It wasn’t something that held my interest. Not sure if I really understood much about it. I wasn’t much of a writer back in the day. Kind of ironic as it turns out.

Enter the Internet with its email, social media, and file sharing. What does this mean for pen pals?  Depending on how you look at it, nothing or everything.

It’s perfectly fine to handwrite letters. Some suggest that it makes that content more personal.  For the time a takes to craft the letter, it’s said to be cathartic in stepping away from the Internet for such things.  

If the medium doesn’t matter, so much more can be shared at real time through the Internet. Sending handwritten letters have given way to instant messages, emails, images, digital recordings, and videos. Social media provides a target rich environment for keeping people connected.  Many grandparents learn how to use computers to reach their children and grandchildren.  

What is my point of all this? There are so many ways to talk with one another. Whatever method you choose, make sure to reach out and communicate with one another. Considering the pandemic, it’s very easy to insulate ourselves too much.

Be safe and healthy – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Your Tech Coach.

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